How to Develop Self-Awareness in Teens

Your teen needs to have self-awareness to help her understand her personality, her beliefs and her values 1. Self-awareness makes it possible for her to make decisions, plan for her future and decipher her emotions. While it’s something she develops throughout her life, self-awareness becomes even more important during the teenage years when she is maturing and learning to become independent. When she’s self-aware, she is more likely to make positive choices.

Be a realistic role model when it comes to self-awareness, advises the Ask Dr. Sears website. For example, when it comes to your teen’s self-esteem, you need to model it yourself. When you exhibit positive self-esteem in front of your kids, they learn to exhibit the same behavior. Show your kids that you are confident in your abilities by saying you’re always up for a new challenge rather than you’re not sure you can do something because you’ve never done it. Try new things with enthusiasm, and point out that while you are not perfect at everything, you’re really good at a lot of things. This helps your teen learn that self-awareness is important and that without self-confidence, self-awareness is difficult to come by.

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Teach your teens to focus on their values, advises the Wright State University College of Business. For example, ask your teen to make a list of values that are important to her, such as being a good friend, focusing on her spirituality or focusing on her grades. Talk to her about focusing on those values each day, by practicing them as often as possible. This will help her develop the self-awareness to live virtuously without falling by the wayside.

Help your teen handle his stress and understand where it comes from, advises Wright State University. His self-awareness will grow when he learns to recognize the signs of stress in his life and what causes the stress. You can have him make a quick note anytime he feels particularly stressed. That note can include what he was doing, where he was, who he was with and what he thinks caused him to feel stressed, such as his friends being late for planned events and causing him to be late as well. When he is able to recognize what stresses him out, he can use his self-awareness to prevent future stress and manage his day-to-day life with ease.

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Stop using labels to describe your teen, advises the Ask Dr. Sears website. Labels make your child feel as though she is destined to become what it is you say about her, and it can alter her self-awareness with negativity. For example, even if you lovingly label her as shy, she may begin to believe she is shy and it could prevent her from coming out of her shell as she attempts to live up to the label you unintentionally gave her. Forget the labels and just love your teen.